A chronological reprinting of one of the most important comic strips of the 20th Century. Annie is a cultural icon–in both her red-headed, blank-eyed appearance, and as an embodiment of American individuality, spunk, and self-reliance. Even those who don’t know strip are keenly aware of the plucky orphan, her loveable dog Sandy, and her adoptive benefactor, “Daddy” Warbucks, through the Broadway play, the hit movie, and the song “Tomorrow,” made famous by both.
What would you do if you found $100 million in currency, gold bullion, and sparkling gems? Annie has this enviable problem as the 1940s come to a close in Harold Gray’s epic Little Orphan Annie. America’s spunkiest kid, however, fails to heed the advice of the mysterious “witch” named Gypsy Belle, who warns of trouble and danger associated with the treasure. Soon enough, the wayward waif is evading mobsters, murderers, and…government tax collectors! Gray also dramatically responds to the anti-comic-book hysteria in this pre-Seduction of the Innocent era, as Annie and other children try to prevent the adults from burning down the library! And that’s just ONE of the four stories in the book. “Sunshine and Shadow” reprints all daily and color Sunday strips from August 19, 1948 through March 12, 1950.
“One of the most impressive comic-strip collections ever produced.” — The Washington Times
“Check out The Complete Little Orphan Annie by Harold Gray. The blank-eyed orphan was far grittier and moving than the saccharine Annie you know from the damn musical. [It] started in 1924 in a world chillingly like ours: crawling with cake-eaters, greedy bankers and international con men who exploit the hardscrabble working stiffs Annie hangs with when her “Daddy” isn’t around to protect her. The cartoonist, a tightlipped Midwestern Dickens, pushes the virtues of honesty, pluck, and hard work in adventures that can melt the heart of even hard-boiled cynics like I pretend to be.” — Art Spiegelman
“In 1924, Gray offered Little Orphan Annie as a radical departure—a serious, often bleak drama…. This gives us a chance to reappraise Gray, one of the most controversial cartoonists of his generation.” — Ben Schwartz, Book Forum
“The Sunday pages are perhaps the truest color reproductions of this sort of early work…. Reading this book is like diving into history, without the musty smell. —Scoop